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Holidays

What Mourning Means: Reflections of Rav Soloveitchik zt”l on Tisha B’Av

July 19, 2011, by

Rabbi Koenigsberg is a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, and the editor of two volumes of the Shiurei HaRav series, an annotated collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s lectures published by the Mesorah Commission of the Orthodox Union. One of his volumes deals with mourning and Tisha B’Av. The customs […]

Megillat Eichah – Lamentations

July 19, 2011, by

The prophet Jeremiah spent years warning his people that they repent and stop insisting that the Temple would protect them. To his chagrin, the Jews honored the Temple more in spectacle than in spirit. But, the Jews ignored him, even imprisoned him, and to his unbearable agony, he was proven right. The Temple was destroyed, […]

Tragedy in Perspective

July 19, 2011, by

At the end of “Masechet Makot,” the volume of the Talmud called “Makot,” on pages 24a and 24b, there are two similar stories. In each, the same group of great scholars hears something or makes an observation which evokes from the majority of the group the expected human reaction, namely, tears. But one among them […]

Destruction and Desecration

July 19, 2011, by

“The replacement for Vespasian, the newly crowned Emperor, was the wicked Titus, from whose mouth the verse ‘Where is their G-d, the Rock in Whom they trusted?’ seemed to come. For Titus blasphemed and cursed Heaven!” “What did he do? He seized a prostitute, and entered the Holy of Holies, spread out a Sefer Torah, […]

The Fateful Meeting

July 19, 2011, by

The setting is Jerusalem, approximately in the year 70 C.E.; the city is in the grip of a terrible famine, and it is surrounded by powerful Roman legions, under the command of Vespasian. “Abba Sikra, the head of the ‘Biryonim,’ the extremist Jewish militants, was the brother-in-law of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai. Ben Zakkai sent […]

Tiger at the Gates

July 19, 2011, by

The Enemy Approaches, and Famine in Yerushalayim When the Roman Emperor was convinced by Bar-Kamtza that the Jews were indeed mounting a rebellion, he sent against Yerushalayim the great general, Nero. As Nero approached, he tried to find out what G-d, in whom he believed, wanted him to do. He shot an arrow to the […]

The Third “Beit HaMikdash,” Holy Temple, in Yerushalayim

July 19, 2011, by

The “Beit HaMikdash” of the “Mashiach” According to Jewish Tradition, the Mashiach is born on Tisha B’Av. According to the RAMBAM, it is the Mashiach who will lead the Jewish People in the building of the Third Beit HaMikdash, that is never to be destroyed. All of the Prophets prophesied concerning the “Acharit HaYamim,” the […]

The Second “Beit HaMikdash,” Holy Temple, in Yerushalayim

July 19, 2011, by

The End of Prophecy – The Formulation of the Mishnah The Prophet Yirmiyahu had received a prophecy that the “exile” following the destruction of the First Temple would be relatively “short” (compared, in any case, to the approximate 2,000 year-long Exile we’re still in, but are, G-d willing, coming out of); namely, 70 years. Various […]

The First “Beit HaMikdash” – The Temple of Shlomo

July 19, 2011, by

The First Beit HaMikdash was actually built in the time of Shlomo HaMelech, King Solomon. Shlomo was the son of King David, who had conceived the idea of building a Temple for HaShem. The Construction The Bible tells us of the construction of this Temple in the Book of Melachim 1. Interestingly, whereas the Mishkan […]

The Attempt by David HaMelech to Build a Temple

July 19, 2011, by

“…But look, ‘Here am I, Sitting in a House of Cedar…’ ” (Shmuel II, 7:2) “David HaMelech, “ King David, had finally succeeded in bringing the Ark of the L-rd to “Ir David,” the City of David, in a joyous procession involving him “leaping and dancing” (Shmuel II, 6:16) before the L-rd. He was “at […]